Dytecna is a leading independent engineering solutions, technology systems and support services company providing design, product and manufacturing innovation to Defence and Industry. They have three facilities in the UK, including in Malvern in the West Midlands, meaning they have been eligible for free support from the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
In 2011 Dytecna started to diversify away from the military sector into renewables, which is when they came across EBRI as a world-leading expert in this area and contacted them to scope out opportunities for collaboration.
Steve Harrison, Business Development Manager at Dytecna, said: “We are a manufacturing company, traditionally based within the defence industry. The cyclical trends of military work mean that we need other products to be going through the manufacturing process and entering the marketplace too. We are continually exploring new ways to exploit upcoming technology, particularly now within the renewables market, which is why we were so excited to make contact with EBRI and find out about their work – in particular the bioenergy technology they are developing.”
An initial visit to EBRI to find out how both organisations could mutually work together, was quickly followed by a visit to observe the Pyroformer™ in operation. EBRI researchers worked closely with Dytecna engineering experts to demonstrate what the Pyroformer™ is capable of, the implications of this technology and the products that can be generated. The planning process also helped EBRI better understand the commercial opportunities around applying this technology to military and marine markets.
Initially the two parties worked together to explore whether or not it might be possible to install the Pyroformer™ on board ships to produce energy from waste. At present, this idea is not feasible, however whilst exploring this idea, Dytecna introduced EBRI to a third company they work with who are developing a complimentary composting technology. Through further collaboration it was discovered that by connecting the two technologies, the residue at end of the process could be converted into energy.
“We have been able to combine EBRI’s Pyroformer™ technology with another piece of emerging technology to create something new we can take into the marketplace. We are now looking at the next stage of the prototype, which will hopefully lead to a new product being available in the near future,” said Steve Harrison.
Steve added: “A whole range of opportunities are emerging for engineering firms to diversify into the bioenergy sector, supported by the fact that governments across the world are pushing businesses towards significantly reducing their waste and developing energy from waste solutions.”
“EBRI’s technical support and expertise has been invaluable over the past few months in getting this collaboration off the ground and helping us to understand what is possible with their new technology and how it can be brought into the marketplace. As we have discovered, once you are able overcome initial barriers around funding and the production process, the door is wide open and there is a world full of opportunities for companies wanting to expand into the growing bioenergy market.“
Steve believes that working with EBRI has brought many benefits to Dytecna. “The EBRI team is working at the cutting edge of bioenergy research, so has the extensive knowledge to help organisations explore the possibilities around this kind of technology. In addition, EBRI researchers have developed their own revolutionary bioenergy technology, which has proved to be a unique collaboration opportunity for us.”
“Working closely with EBRI can open up genuine funding opportunities for industry and help them turn research concepts into reality. This is absolutely key, as companies need to develop functioning, profitable products that can be applied to the marketplace.”
Steve Harrison, Business Development Manager, Dytecna